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One of the most influential members of the so-called GA Caucus in Congress recently announced his support for privatization of air traffic control as a vote looms next week on the bill that would hand it over to a nonprofit corporation. Rep. Sam Graves voted against privatization last year but, according to The Hill, Graves switched horses after he spent the year convincing the architect of the bill, House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa), to exempt GA from user fees in the bill. Read More
Nav Canada, the nonprofit corporation responsible for air traffic control in Canada and over the North Atlantic, said Sunday it had restored its automated flight planning system after the main facility housing the equipment was flooded by a thunderstorm in Ottawa, early Saturday. Read More
Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger says privatizing air traffic control in the U.S. will reduce aviation safety and access to aviation. In an interview with Katie Couric, Sully said of the proposal, “There are other, better ways to solve this political budget problem — by giving the FAA, in running the air traffic control system and making capital improvements to the air traffic control system, more predictable multiyear funding — without giving away the keys to the kingdom to the largest airlines to control access and fees and pricing too." Read More
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Authorities in Sonoma, California, are investigating whether the deployment of a Cirrus whole-plane parachute at low level was a factor in the death of the pilot. Pilot Bill Goldman was killed and his son, daughter and their nanny were seriously hurt in the crash. Read More
The Pratt & Whitney F135 engine of a U.S. Air Force F-35A caught on fire during start, severely damaging the aircraft, due to a tailwind, says the Air Force Incident Investigation Board’s (AIB) report released this week. The pilot of the aircraft received some burns during egress and damage to the aircraft is expected to exceed $17 million. According to the report, “The mishap was caused by a tailwind blowing hot air from either the mishap aircraft’s Integrated Power Pack (IPP) exhaust or the mishap aircraft’s engine exhaust into the IPP inlet. The hot air entering the IPP inlet started a sequence of events ultimately ending in an uncontained engine fire.” Read More
An air force pilot in Belarus may have had some explaining to do after he ejected from his MiG-29 during a fiery failed takeoff attempt. Read More

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Stalwart GA supporter Sam Graves rolls over on privatization. Does he think we're naive enough to believe the reason? Read More
Nothing says Cub like the iconic yellow-with-lightning-bolt paint scheme of the J-3 but some buyers of Cub derivatives are looking for something a little more distinctive. Cubcrafters' John Whitish showed an especially dynamic design at Sun 'n Fun earlier this year. Read More
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Bob Withrow, VP of Engineering at Scaled Composites, in Mojave, California, says the company will have a major presence at EAA AirVenture this month, and they're hiring. Read More

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Heard over rural Massachusetts ... Cherokee XYZ (tremulous voice): "Albany Approach, Cherokee XYZ five miles northeast of Pittsfield at 3500 feet, requesting fight following to Kilo Oscar Romeo Delta.” ... Silence: all on frequency were contemplating the Cherokee, a student pilot at the controls, attempting the impossibly long flight to Chicago and then penetrating the O'Hare airspace ... Cherokee XYZ (even more tremulous voice): "Albany Approach, Cherokee XYZ six miles northeast of Pittsfield at 3500, requesting flight following to Kilo Oscar Romeo Delta”... Longer silence: All on frequency, including the controllers, were now attempting to contain various forms of laughter. Eventually a different voice, one steeped in confidence and experience came on ... Cherokee XYZ: "Approach, XYZ 8 northeast Pittsfield requests advisories at 3500 to Orange Mass, Kilo Oscar Romeo Echo". (KORE is an uncontrolled rural field slightly different from its near namesake) ... Albany Approach: "Cherokee XYZ squawk 4350, I show Orange 38 miles to your east ... And we were all left wondering what sage words of wisdom might just have been imparted by the instructor to his diligent student. Oh, to have been a back seat passenger in that Cherokee. Read More
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